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Tuesday, May 7, 2013 - 11:02pm
ANTHONY, Texas — The long-time Anthony, Texas mayor pleaded guilty Tuesday to charges of tampering with governmental records.
Mayor Art Franco was sentenced to three years probation, community service and restitution for nearly $4,000.
"The town will continue to do the same thing like they normally do," said Mayor Pro-Tem Luis Vela.
Franco was arrested late September of 2012 when the Texas Rangers showed up to city hall with a warrant for Franco's arrest.
Vela said he's ready to temporarily assume the responsibilities of mayor pending the results from the May elections.
Franco is also on the ballot but running unopposed.
"Instead of running unopposed maybe somebody should run against him," said area resident Joe Luvian.
Some residents in the far west Texas town feel Franco is no longer the best choice to lead the town.
The guilty plea comes on charges Franco helped alter a government form so a person could get subsidized housing from the United States Department of Agriculture.
Vela said even with the guilty plea Franco has helped the town.
"I really do believe that Art Franco has done a lot of good things for this town," Vela said.
Vela is unsure what Franco's plans are for the future but said there is sure to be a lot of conflicting opinions moving forward.
"It's up to them (constituents) what they think," Vela. "I know a lot of them know him and they know what he's done and I'm sure there will be some negativeness, there always is."
Franco will remain on the ballot.
Franco did not return phone calls for comment.